About six months ago Nordea Finance and Minuba launched the new innovative concept Service Finans. With the new concept, Minuba can offer financing of renovation and improvement projects for homeowners through its network of builders and via Minuba’s online platform. Minuba’s CEO Casper Hassø Nielsen tells us more about the concept.
- We are busy. Today we have been in dialogue with 139 companies across industries and countries, and that is a normal day for us. We want to lead the way in the digital transformation that the builders’ industry and society at large are going through these years, and we are working hard to implement Service Finans with our builders, partners and customers, says Casper.
Which value does Service Finans add for builders, homeowners and wholesalers?
- It adds value across the board. Personal customers (homeowners) will be able to make their dream home projects come true – whether it is a new kitchen or solar panels on the roof. It’s an investment in your home. An investment that may also be relevant in connection with a home sale. Imagine a homeowner who wants to sell. The estate agent recommends energy improvements to the house to make it more attractive and perhaps to sell it even faster and at a better price. In this case, the homeowner can borrow money for improvements here and now and pay it back the moment the house is sold. I think that adds value. Builders will be able to get more customers and orders and the same applies to wholesalers.
It’s an ecosystem that adds value in every respect and benefits all parties involved and society at large, with new, better and more environmentally friendly property improvements.
What does it mean to have a strong financial partner when offering a value-adding service?
- It means a great deal. The cooperation with Nordea Finance has been transparent and open all along. We are dealing with a company that is focused on its partners and willing to understand builders, their industry and challenges. They have also bought into the customer journey that is about changing the way builders work and not least the mindset of consumers. With digitalisation, access to financing is easier than ever for customers, and Service Finans is a good example of the new digital marketplace.
Add to this that Nordea and Nordea Finance are global companies with high activity in the Nordics and – like us at Minuba – a global mindset. That provides even better scope for cooperation – also across country borders.”
Which value does Service Finans add for Minuba and vice versa?
- It gives Minuba a unique position in the market and the opportunity to give builders a unique value proposition. Recently we have seen a large inflow of builders to Minuba’s platform because they want access to Service Finans. At the same time, it is also interesting for Service Finans to have access to a large distribution channel with many builders.
Are you not worried that your concept will be copied at some point?
- I am, but now we are doing this in cooperation with Nordea Finance, which is a big player in Scandinavia with a strong brand. And then it is all about being a first mover in the market – you establish your concept, build up your business and win market share before everyone else. However, it’s not easy and there are challenges, says Casper:
- When you develop a new financing concept such as Service Finans, a hybrid that didn’t exist before, attitudes must be changed, and that requires different thinking. It could be that builders hesitate to offer financing for the improvements the homeowners want or that homeowners are sceptical about taking out a loan for home projects. The general view is that you only renovate and improve your home once you have saved up or have enough home equity. Our approach to that is the opposite – home improvements are an investment in the home and a way of saving in the form of lower costs for lighting and heating. Therefore, you don’t have to wait for years, you can simply use Service Finans here and now. It pays off.
How is Minuba from a global viewpoint? Are you about to expand your business?
- Minuba is a large player in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands with offices in all countries. Our aim is to be a leading European player within the next couple of years and a global leader within the next eight to nine years. The activities in the different countries are pretty good, also with the ranking of our digital platform, but it obviously takes time to start up in a new country with new business partners and to attract new customers. On top of that many builders haven’t gone digital, especially if looking at Southern Europe. That gives us a huge market to operate in, but it also takes time to change mindsets. That’s the digital transformation journey we are on and that we are working hard to complete.
Minuba is a Danish-owned international software company, established in 2010 in Denmark with offices in Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands. Minuba is behind a very successful online order and case management system with focus on optimising and streamlining operations aimed at small and medium-sized service companies. Minuba has 40 employees and is owned by the two founders Casper Hassø Nielsen and Luis Knudsen as well as Solar, which is a wholesaler within electricity, plumbing, heating and sanitation, and ventilation. More on minuba.com
Service Finans is a whole new financing concept – developed by Minuba and Nordea Finance. With Service Finans, service companies such as builders can offer financing of up to DKK 300,000 (40.000 €) for their customers’ (for instance homeowners) building and home projects. Financing covers everything from the installation of LED bulbs to a new kitchen, bathroom or solar panels on the roof.
The loan platform for Service Finans has been developed in cooperation with Lendme. Lendme has designed a user-friendly front-end to collect the application-data on behalf of Nordea Finance. The data is afterwards delivered to Nordea Finance who will make the credit rating. Lendme is a loan broker and Nordea Finance has since 2017 been active on the Lendme platform.
This is how Service Finans works
- A homeowner wants a new bathroom or new energy-efficient windows and obtains quotations from different builders.
- The Minuba builder makes an offer including a non-binding financing offer from Nordea Finance, which the customer can apply for on servicefinans.dk.
- On acceptance and credit approval, the customer gets the money immediately from Nordea Finance. The builder subsequently starts on the building project so that the customer’s dream home project can come true.
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